Struggling in the Cold

He first noticed the blankets covering the windows.
A Commerce Township firefighter was delivering a gift basket to an area home just before Christmas, 2016.
Inside, he found a couple and their two young children ages 3 and 8, struggling to survive with no heat or hot water.
The parents, both in their late 20s, were doing their best to make ends meet.
The father wasn’t working because he’d lost his license after a drunk driving arrest 7 years before.
The mother, who was starting a new job at Kroger, was washing up in water she warmed in a microwave. The father watched out for the children, ages 3 and 8.
They needed new gas shut off values inside the house, a hot water tank, a new kitchen faucet to restore heat to the home, hot water and running water in the kitchen.
Open Door had emergency funds for a hot water tank, and the firefighter agreed to install it and fix broken gas lines to the furnace if we paid for parts.
Open Door Executive Director Karen Myers realized once the gas was on the  furnace should checked over by an expert, making sure it was safe.
She got on the phone to find a heating and cooling company.
Many said no, but Mulligan Heating of White Lake agreed to send a technician right away.
But an inspection showed the furnace itself was shot.  All safety features of the furnance had been "by passed".
Furnace company owner Pat Mulligan contacted Myers, he shared he had grandchildren around the same age as the Commerce kids.  Then stated he could not imagine them without heat all winter.  He offered to donate a furnace and installation in memory of his late mother.
Myers was delighted when she heard the news.  This truly was a miracle.
The family now has heat, hot water, and running water in their kitchen.  The Dad now has contacted Legal Aid to untangle the drivers licenses court issues.
The family is warm – with a new furnace and hot water again.
“These parents are trying so hard,” says Myers.
“The mom is working. She’s told us, ‘I’m going to get us out of this.’”